Nuclear subsidies (Hinkley Point C). This is a commentary on Commission decision of 08.10.2014 on the aid measure SA.34947 (2013/C) (ex 2013/N) which the United Kingdom is planning to implement for support to the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, (URL: http://bit.ly/1Cihuv8) from the European Commission. It appears that some key arguments and conclusions in the Commission’s decision are false. And it appears that the errors in these arguments and conclusions arise largely from seriously deficient understandings of technical aspects of nuclear power and technical aspects of electricity supply systems. Because of the apparent importance of those technical issues, much of Nuclear subsidies (Hinkley Point C) is devoted to them.
Energy Fair 14th Feb 2015 read more »
The chairman of parliament’s energy and climate change committee has joined those warning the fossil fuel industry to take the threat of stranded assets seriously, and believes Shell is wrong to write off critics as naive. Tim Yeo, a veteran Conservative MP and nuclear enthusiast, also expressed alarm at the latest delays at the new Hinkley Point building project in Somerset, saying he hoped they would not lead to eventual cancellation. The tacit admission last Thursday by EDF that it was struggling to meet its own deadline for a final investment decision to be made at Hinkley is seen by Yeo as very serious, especially if it were to lead to the project being shelved. “If there is going to be a serious setback at Hinkley with EDF then what happens next given everything else (other new nuclear projects) is several years behind?”
Guardian 15th Feb 2015 read more »
Having talked vaguely for many years about the possibility of developing nuclear power as an alternative source of energy, it seems that Saudi Arabia under its new leadership may finally be taking steps towards what would be one of the world’s largest nuclear building programmes over the next decade. The Kingdom is pressing ahead with plans to add 16GW by the early 2030s. In terms of energy policy the Saudi move is unsurprising. The country now uses 3m barrels a day of oil – more per capita than any other country on earth – to meet the bulk of its energy requirements, including power generation. With total production of some 9.5 mbd, that means that a third of total output is absorbed locally, reducing the level of potential exports. . Although there is inevitably scope for serious scepticism about whether 16GW (and another 40GW of solar power capacity) will actually be built and commissioned by the early 2030s. Despite a Royal Decree published in 2010, very little actual progress has been made. Regional circumstances raise the possibility that the Saudis could at some point feel that nuclear weapons capability was a necessary part of their defence strategy. Despite the obvious desire of President Obama to conclude a deal which would stop Iran developing any form of nuclear weapons capability, no agreement has been reached and it is not clear if negotiations will continue or not beyond the end of June. The reluctance of the US to engage actively in support of its regional allies causes concern, not just in Israel but also among Iran’s neighbours in the Gulf. The Israelis clearly have the ability to defend themselves and to deter aggression and threats. Others do not. Trust is low and, in a rough neighbourhood, the mood is that every state has to look after itself. Saudi Arabia would not be alone in considering that, if Iran was allo wed to continue with its nuclear programme, some countervailing deterrence was necessary. Proliferation of nuclear weapons is not onlya concern when rogue states are involved.
FT 15th Feb 2015 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
The extent of the UK’s booming business environment for the offshore wind industry and its supply chain have been demonstrated with three major announcements in the space of 24 hours. The development of the UK’s first commercial offshore wind towers; a new joint-agreement to develop a 900MW offshore wind farm; and the provision of a licence which will allow the world’s second largest windfarm access to the onshore grid were all announced on Friday, consolidating confidence in the nation’s world-leading offshore wind industry.
Edie 13th Feb 2015 read more »
Scottish Energy News 16th Feb 2015 read more »
Renewables – onshore wind
VOTING papers are to go out on the Black Isle to canvass the level of support for community-owned wind turbines. The project’s backers say the proposed local scheme would produce almost half the electricity used locally. Black Isle Community Energy (BICE) claim that the Â£9.7m development would provide an income stream for community purposes by selling power to the grid. It is thought this could raise at least £500,000 a year for community projects which some people want to be spent on a new public swimming pool. It could also pay for improvements to the insulation in local homes. Supporters argue that if they do not push ahead with the project, a private company will do so and only give a fraction of profits to the community. But campaign group No Black Isle Wind Farm says windfarms have been growing rapidly and the landscap e would be damaged by “industrial scale wind farm”
Herald 16th Feb 2015 read more »
Renewables – tidal
Plans to quarry rocks for a new Government-backed green energy scheme could devastate a quiet rural area of the Cornish coastline, furious residents have claimed. Developers want to reopen the disused Dean Quarry on the Lizard Peninsula and ship millions of tonnes of rocks from the site to build a massive sea wall more than a hundred miles away in Swansea Bay. The six-mile sea wall in Swansea would create a “tidal lagoon” with turbines that could harness the power of the sea to generate electricity, in a scheme that ministers have backed as part of the National Infrastructure Plan. But residents near Dean Quarry, which has been shut down since 2008, fear their livelihoods and tranquil lifestyles could be ruined as the company behind the plans wants to quarry far greater quantities of rocks than ever before.
Telegraph 15th Feb 2015 read more »
A city heating network has been awarded £1 million to help cut energy bills and provide cheap power to thousands of homes across Aberdeen. The announcement coincides with today’s meeting of the Scottish Government in the city. Aberdeen Heat & Power Ltd will expand the network to non-domestic properties with commercial heat sales revenues ring fenced to heat households in the city. The system already supplies around 2,000 council flats in 26 multi storey blocks, low rise sheltered housing complexes as well as 13 public buildings.
Scottish Energy News 16th Feb 2015 read more »
The government has not done enough to help UK businesses improve their energy efficiency, claims a new report released Friday by the Trade Unions Congress (TUC). Efficiency gains have “essentially flatlined” since 2007 thanks to failing and overly complex government policies, says the report, called Money to Burn. These failures are saddling UK businesses with higher-than-necessary energy bills, costing companies millions of pounds a year, according to the union group.
Edie 13th Feb 2015 read more »
Councils could save millions of pounds if they switched to more efficient street lighting systems, according to a report by the Scottish Futures Trust. With the cost of electricity likely to double over the next ten years, the trust has launched a “toolkit” to give Scotland’s local authorities information on how much they would save by phasing in energy-efficient LED street lights. The nearly 900,000 street lights across Scotland cost £41 million in annual electricity charges. They also release more than 199,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. The Scottish Futures Trust (SFT), which advises the government on improving public services, says phasing in new types of LED lighting will not only provide huge savings but also help to protect against global warming.
Times 16th Feb 2015 read more »